HTC shall remain strong on global stage
Smartphone vendor HTC is one of the few Taiwanese companies that have established themselves as successful global brands. However, its stock price took a hit this week plummeting to the NT$ 70 range. It was nowhere close to its NT$ 1,300 peak in its glory days, while NT$ 14.5 billion in capitalized value has evaporated into the air within two days.
This all happened after HTC made a downward adjustment on its second- quarter financial forecast recently — the reason being its high- end phones and penetration in mainland China fell short of expectations. The company forecast a NT$ 5.1- billion loss on its smartphone business.
Early this year HTC rolled out three high- end models in just a month. Company staff and consumers alike are reportedly confused about the company’s array of products, as there are no clear flagship models, while high- end phones have specifications found on mid- and low- end ones.
A number of business leaders have voiced their support for HTC in the wake of the company’s debacle, including Far Eastern Group ( ) Chairman Douglas Hsu ( ) , Fubon Financial Holding ( ) Vice Chairman Richard Tsai ( ) and Catcher Technology Co. ( ) Chairman Hung Shui- shu ( ).
Executives know how hard it is for HTC to compete in an industry dominated by smartphone bellwether Apple Inc. and behemoth Samsung, which receives backing from the South Korean government.
The problem facing HTC is that in this cutthroat commercial landscape, it is no longer enough to simply make good phones. Apple realizes that, and has made adjustments to its screen sizes to make iPhones more appealing to consumers. The ambitious Samsung has been upping the ante since it unveiled its Galaxy series years back.
The question is always can companies provide products/ services that make people happy? When a consumer doles out money, will he or she receive “satisfaction” in exchange? This principle should hold true in any business.
People spend money to buy “happiness.” We upgrade to 4G because the connection is faster. We go to theme parks to get a good experience with friends or family. We dine in nice restaurants for delicious food. We go to Starbucks because its coffee tastes wonderful. Many people go to Zara because wearing fashionable clothes makes them feel good.
So if not for happiness, why do people spend money? A good rule of thumb to judge a business’ future chances of success is “Are there return customers?” Consumers in general are very sensitive. They know it when they like something, or not, immediately.
It appears that Apple has many happy customers. Its iPhones are fast, reliable, pretty, easy to use, light, etc. — all attributes that make people happy. Samsung, although not the undisputable leader in the smartphone industry, is catching up fast.
HTC devices have myriad good attributes too, but there is always room for improvement, as there is for Apple and Samsung and other players. Perfection is an illusion, but we can always make things better.
Competition always brings the better part out of oneself. The Taiwanese phone maker only has to look at its peers for ideas on how to make better phones, or how to make its customers happier — to give them a better experience.
Challenges, roadblocks and setbacks are usually “opportunities in disguise.” Failure only occurs when one gives up trying, otherwise, when one ponders, reflects, and makes corrections, he or she can always emerge anew as a success. We look forward to HTC overcoming its adversity and staying strong on the global stage.